RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Early voting for the May 24th runoff election started today and election officials are encouraging voters to get out and vote.

Hidalgo and Cameron County election departments said with the candidates on the ballot, they are expecting an increase in voting during this primary runoff election.

“The type of races that are on the ballot of course they do encourage and drive voters to the polling locations,” said Hidalgo County election department’s assistant director, Hilda Salinas.

Remi Garza, Cameron County’s elections administrator said they are expecting between 10,000 and 12,000 people to participate in this runoff.

“We have the state District 27, we got the House Representative 37, we have got a commissioner from precinct four as well as a justice of the peace here in Brownsville. So, all those I think are going to generate interest from those various communities and vote in this runoff,” said Garza.

Interest from voters focuses on the race for state senator in District 27.

Candidates in the Democratic runoff election are Sara Stapleton Barrera and Morgan LaMantia.

LaMantia and Stapleton Barrera are both attorneys and were in a close race.

Lamantia received 33.74% of the votes and Stapleton Barrera with 32.67% in the primary election.

The winner of the runoff is set to face republican Adam Hinojosa.

“We encourage voters to inform themselves with who is on the ballot, so that way they can already more or less have an idea once they go to the polling locations to cast their ballot,” said Salinas.

The race for state representatives in District 37 is also a leading race.

Democrat Ruben Cortez who serves on the Texas State Board of Education is in the runoff with Luis Villarreal Jr.

The winner will be facing Republican Janie Lopez in November’s general election.

“Cameron County doesn’t have a congressional district right now. We will be having a special election on June 14th for Congressional District 34,” said Garza.

District 34 was represented by Filemon Vela Jr. who announced his resignation in March.

Candidates for the District 34 seat include Dan Sanchez, Mayra Flores, Rene Coronado and Juana Cantu Cabrera.

The upcoming ballot also includes District 28’s incumbent Henry Cuellar and Jessica Cisneros, both Democrats in the runoff, and on the Republican ballot are Cassy Garcia and Sandra Whitten.

Early voting is scheduled from May 16 to May 20. The Primary Runoff Elections are scheduled for May 24.